Uganda Projected to Have One billion Tonnes of Iron Deposits

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In short
He says preliminary estimates of confirmed iron ore deposits in Kigezi alone is at 200 million metric tonnes, adding that the potential for the entire region as well as the country could go beyond a billion metric tonnes or more.

Results of aerial geological surveys conducted by the Geological Surveys and Mines Directorate in Kigezi sub-region in southwestern Uganda reveal 200 metric tonnes of iron ore deposits.
 


Godfrey Bahati, the acting Director of the Geological Surveys and Mines Directorate in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has told Uganda Radio Network that the surveys conducted in financial year 2014/15 showed massive deposits of iron ore in Kabale, Kisoro and Kanungu districts.

 

He says preliminary estimates of confirmed iron ore deposits in Kigezi alone is at 200 million metric tonnes, adding that the potential for the entire region as well as the country could go beyond a billion metric tonnes or more.



Documents from the directorate show that iron ore discoveries have been made at Buhara, Muyebe and Nyamiringa in Kabale District, Nyamiyaga and Kazogo in Kisoro District and Kinamiro and Butogota in Kanungu District.


According to Bahati, confirmed iron ore deposits are also found in parts of Mbarara and southeastern Uganda.  He says under the Mineral Wealth and Mining Infrastructure Development Project, an appraisal will be done to establish the full extent of iron ore deposits, as well as rare earth minerals and uranium.


He reveals that economic minerals will start playing a big role in the development of Uganda.


//Cue in: Roughly we can …
Cue out: … value of exports.


He says feasibility studies are also ongoing to establish an iron ore processing plant using natural gas or coking coal from Mozambique and South Africa. Meanwhile the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Dr. Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, told the ministry's joint sector review meeting that plans are underway to set up an iron ore reduction plant in Uganda.



Uganda has no iron smelting plant and iron ore extracted is exported. The Royal Society of Chemistry says ninety percent of all metal that is refined these days is iron. Most of it is used to make steel which is in turn used in manufacturing and civil engineering, for instance, to make reinforced concrete.



Uganda is a net importer of steel.



The Woman MP for Kaberamaido District, Florence Ibi Ekwau, appealed to the government to allocate more resources to the mining sub-sector because it has huge potential for generating income for the country.


Ekwau said the 500 million Shillings allocated to the sector is inadequate considering that it generates more revenue for the country.

In financial year 2015/16, the mineral sub-sector collected non-tax revenue of 4.4 billion Shillings from licenses, certificates and royalties.

 

About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.


In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."